Last weekend Nancy Bush came to town. Nancy had been here before, a little over 5 years ago. At that time she came to teach us about Estonian colour work, braids and other such fancies. With her came all of her samples, including some absolutely amazing lace.
Nancy was working on a book about the incredible lace of Estonia. The book was published and it was everything one could want in a lace book. Full of pictures and patterns, I started a shawl immediately, Madli’s Shawl! A long stole styled shawl with lots of Nupps (rhymes with loop).
This time Nancy was here to teach us about Estonian Lace.
The Workshop was held at the Inn on Long Lake in Nanaimo. The workshop room was up on the third floor and there was a great view of the lake. The room was bright with good lighting, important when working with lace.
Again, Nancy brought an incredible amount of samples, Scarves and Shawls of all sizes and shapes. Most were wool but some were Qiviut or Silk. Nancy has a decided preference for wool.
Many of the shawls were from the book, but there were many others, gifts from friends or research items – maybe another book?
Nancy was a very generous teacher. She tried to accommodate everyone’s learning goals, expanding and amending the handout’s – which were already very detailed – so that everyone left feeling that their particular goal was addressed. The yarn we were working with the Jamieson’s Ultra. A slightly heavier laceweight wool with a very crisp hand for great stitch definition.
I have learned so much. Not so much about technique as I have knit a great deal of lace, but an amazing amount about the history and stories of the lace patterns themselves. I love that kind of learning. Where the pattern ideas started and the history of the region and how that influenced the knitters in the creative process. Did you know that the Estonian lace knitters created all of their beautiful lace on 7 to 10 inch long straight needles? They figured out the techniques to make their tools work in the creation of their lace.
One thing that I did learn is that Nupps look and show better in a very light colour. I think that Madli’s may be started again in a different fibre and colour. I may just finish this off and give it to a young lady I know.
Last year one of our customers brought in some Estonian Lace. I brought these to show to Nancy. She was very interested in seeing the lace, and thrilled to see somethings that she hadn’t seen before. There were a couple that she has requested pictures of. This weekend I will be busy taking some more photo’s.
Something about learning – you always learn how little you really know! So there is always something to look forward to learning!